(Originally posted Sept 10, 2018)
I’m thinking about how I have learned the value of (and continue to work on) shifting my perspective – from that of lack, to that of gratitude for what I have and abundance; from focus on issues and ruminating on situations of the past, to being in the present moment; from fear of outcomes and judgments that might arise, to focusing on what feels right and joyful right now.
That is what we have – this moment – in which we can take action and shine. Nothing happens in the past or in the future. Anything in either of those spaces is just thoughts circling around in your head – concerns, regrets, projections etc. – and dwelling on any of that keeps you from action in the present moment.
I’m thinking back to my first reiki client early on in my practice, a couple of years ago. While I had welcomed friends and acquaintances for sessions, this was my first new client whom I had never met.
With the time approaching when this new client was to arrive, I suddenly became aware of things that I had never noticed before; for example, the paint peeling on our front door and our very worn and ratty front door mat. These two things I had never given much thought to previously – day in and day out walking on that mat and coming through the door – suddenly became highlighted like neon beacons as things I thought a new client would surely notice and get a negative impression. Then, I remembered the numbers on our house were obscured by the bushes and trees out front – how would they even find the place? Something we’ve never been concerned with, as it seemed all our visitors thus far had been friends who would text when they were out front or if they had any trouble finding us. However, this person was already on their way, and I didn’t have their cell number.
Years ago my partner had spraypainted an old board with our house number on it and would place it down in front of the bushes if people were coming over for a gathering – a birthday or holiday party, etc. It was ugly, but did the job when absolutely necessary for friends and acquaintances – people who already knew us and we didn’t concern ourselves with what they thought of the sign. That day, I thought for a split-second about putting that board out, but then immediately realized that a spraypainted house number on an old board was not quite the impression I was going for with a new client. Instead, I decide a much better idea would be to run down to the bottom of the front steps past the bushes periodically in my slippers to look for this person driving by. Although I felt this option was also less than ideal, it beat the awful sign or losing the client (literally). It worked; I eventually saw the client pull up and waved them in.
Shortly thereafter, upon reflection, I noted that during this frenetic time I was concerned over someone possibly passing judgment on the “negative” physical attributes of my home, I had momentarily shifted my focus and resolve away from the fact that I was there, prepared and ready to offer a service to help this person – regardless of the appearance of the doorway into which they arrived. I had shifted my focus temporarily to fear – fear of what that person would think, fear of their judgment, and away from the grounded confidence in the peace, tranquility and healing I was able to offer in the session.
Well, the story ends well in that the session was lovely, and they have been back several times since.
All in all, I think the moral of this story is this: just like a cave – holding beautiful crystals and treasures – whose entrance may be covered with jagged rocks, gravel and dirt – the inside of anything is often far more beautiful than what you see on the outside. This is true of a person, an animal, a book, a home, an office (you get the idea) – something a little rough around the edges may be a true gem inside.
PS. I’ve upgraded the doormat but the paint may still be peeling on the door; but it hasn’t seemed to impact the sessions, given clients’ feedback.